I recently had the privilege to attend a presentation by Deb Davis from Paws with a Cause (PAWS), an organization located in Wayland, Michigan. This organization breeds, raises, custom-trains, and places service dogs with people with a variety of disabilities. These assistance dogs include:
Service Dogs: Used by people with a physical disability, debilitating chronic illness or neurological disorder.
Hearing Dogs: For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Seizure Response Dogs: For those with epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
Service Dogs for Children with Autism: For children 12 years of age and younger with autism.
Combination Dogs: Service and Hearing, Service and Seizure Response, and Hearing and Seizure Response.
All dogs are provided at no cost to the client.
Deb and her dog Seymour demonstrated some of the skills that a service dog is trained to have after many months of training. The presentation was very impressive.
One of the problems Deb deals with on a regular basis concerns those individuals who try to pass off family pets as service animals. A couple of the guidelines that the owner of a service dog must be aware of include that a service dog must always have all four feet on the ground. A service dog cannot occupy a chair and must remain under a table or seat and pretty much out of the way. Another guideline that must be followed is that the dog can never be fed from the table and the owner must be the only one that provides a treat for completing a task. Too many people have attempted to pass off their family pets by carrying them around in a purse or having them sit on their lap.
If you’d like more information on Paws With a Cause, please visit their website at www.pawswithacause.org/assistancedogs. You may also contact me at my address listed at the bottom of this column.
This is the time of the year when you’re likely to find volunteers out along the state highways picking up litter. This is part of the “Adopt a Highway” program, and these volunteers can be found picking up our trash about twice a year, in early spring and late fall. This task will make you think twice before throwing out that plastic drink cup, should you ever have the privilege of volunteering to pick up someone else’s garbage. When you encounter these groups of volunteers, slow down and offer them a wave of thanks for doing something that we should all experience at least once.
In about another month, schools will be letting out for the summer. This means that there will be an abundance of teenagers out looking for summer jobs. If you are in a position to hire these young people, please give this some serious thought. The youngsters that look to you for work have a desire to do something productive with their time, instead of exercising their thumbs playing video games. Take a chance and put them to work. Help them to appreciate receiving a day’s pay for a day’s worth of work. It will also put them in touch with a bit of reality. Life isn’t always fair, and we appreciate what we have if we have to work for it.
If a person owns a piece of land, do they own it all the way down to the core of the earth?
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman